Author Topic: Friendly Suggestions for Next Year's One Spark  (Read 23392 times)

Cheshire Cat

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Friendly Suggestions for Next Year's One Spark
« on: April 21, 2013, 09:12:20 PM »
I christen thee "Quacker Jax"

It's no secret that I think the "One Spark" event was a success.  The numbers for event attendance and voting support that reality.  Considering the fact that some very talented folks, investors and volunteers created such a great venue in a very short time I give them all a big "Two Thumbs Up"!

As is to be expected after the inauguration of any new venue, there is always a time to discuss what was a hit, what might be made better and to add new ideas to what is already established for the next event.  So I respectfully begin by making a single idea suggestion that is neither earth shaking or event changing but simply fun. 

I want to talk about the whimsy to be discovered downtown during the event and one big smile maker was the huge yellow duck.  You know the one that appeared the morning of the event floating in a Hemming Plaza fountain.  It was such a fun entry and one that I believe should be considered as a mascot for future "One Spark" events.  I have even come up with a name for him which is "Quacker Jax"!  lol  The media spin on the duck could cover everything from T Shirts for adults and children, to small rubber ducks being sold to benefit the event or another cause.  The duck could be presented in a different location or pose from year to year.  My family really loved it.

Perhaps others would like to share their comments and ideas on this thread in order to help the One Spark creators make next years event even bigger and better.  Things like how the voting is done or more food trucks.  A much larger food venue filled with many of the wonderful food trucks talked about on this site would be fantastic and perhaps moving the entertainment district closer to the action. 

Any other ideas or comments?
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 08:21:34 PM by Cheshire Cat »
Diane Melendez
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videojon

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Re: Friendly Suggestions for Next Year's One Spark
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2013, 11:21:26 PM »
I work downtown so made a point to spend some time there at some point on all the days except for Sunday. Overall, my impression was great. I enjoyed it. I will admit though, I was one of those who did not vote. For me it was more checking out the vendors.

I didn't do alot of reading or research about the event beforehand so I was unsure about all the details of the event. As others have mentioned, I didn't realize you could vote for more than one venue so for me it would have been too difficult to vote for just one booth. Maybe I would have realized that had I taken the time to research. Nothing made that point obvious though.

I see both arguments regarding spread out or not. I personally didn't mind it being spread out but some were "way out.". I personally almost missed or did miss certain venues because they were hidden away on the 6th floor of some side street. I did like the "Venue" signs though. Those certainly helped.

For my non-work day, I parked in the convention center parking lot and took the Skyway. It was very convenient.

ProjectMaximus

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Re: Friendly Suggestions for Next Year's One Spark
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2013, 01:03:51 AM »
It's one thing for the festival to be "spread out" evenly throughout downtown (which I think is fine)...another thing entirely to have pockets of extremely isolated areas. And while I did not visit them (did anyone?), I know that there were a couple dozen creators who were placed on the southbank (myself included although I just decided to set up elsewhere since I had that option) If I had been stuck by myself waaaay out there I would've been so pissed! I also know the One Spark HQ Lounge got very very little use, presumably because it was kinda far away from everything else.

That said, I'm not sure how they could really avoid the creator sprawl. I mean, it's up to private owners to choose to be a venue and open their space up for the festival and one spark had to quickly open up as much space as they could in public spaces to accommodate the last-minute swell of participants. Which explains utilizing the southbank. Also from my experience a number of creators were no shows...which probably led to the perception of increased sprawl.

Primary Complaint: The registration to be a creator was somewhat of a mess when done at the last minute. Initial registration process was not entirely intuitive and the significance of certain steps was not at all conveyed. But mostly, the process of pairing with a venue (the matchmaking period) needs to be explained much better in the future. Its significance was totally lost on me and a few others. I was very fortunate that both of my projects were accepted in the 11th hour, but one Creator from Washington DC who also made the mistake of procrastinating was not so lucky. One Spark staff made it seem like everything would be ok and they even spoke with her on the phone an hour before the deadline and expressed zero urgency for her situation. The presumption was that at least some venue (though not an ideal one) would be provided. Well, none were and the staff apologetically explained the following day that creators without a venue were eliminated, with no refund, from the festival.  I can't say if this actually happened to anyone else...being banned from the festival because the matchmaking process was not completed in time, but it happened to at least one AWESOME project (two creators) from out-of-state.

That said, I am absolutely certain this issue will be addressed by the organizers for the next go round.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 01:06:06 AM by ProjectMaximus »

InnerCityPressure

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Re: Remembering One Spark: Sights & Scenes
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2013, 04:30:35 AM »
No suggestions as I could not attend (exiled to the British Isles this year).  I do have a question, though.  I see lots of new art downtown.  I know Chamblin's has a permanent mural now. Obviously, things like the duck and quilt stage will be taken down.  As for some of the other art (e.g. Rise from the ashes and the black background with white frames).  Will those be taken down now that OneSpark is over? 

sheclown

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Re: Remembering One Spark: Sights & Scenes
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2013, 07:13:58 AM »


Loved the unexpected quality of it all.  Random tree cozy...still giggling about that.  Beyond all of the other pluses, for me, this event simply made downtown fun.

« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 07:18:01 AM by sheclown »

Noone

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Re: Remembering One Spark: Sights & Scenes
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2013, 07:18:22 AM »
Unfotunately was out of town. Saw the pic from the water at the Landing and a few boats. How many votes did the USS Adams get?

Dapperdan

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Re: Friendly Suggestions for Next Year's One Spark
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2013, 09:03:24 AM »
I talked to a  few creators in the Hyatt and they said they maybe get a dozen or so people in per day as they are way off the beaten path. I don't think it was fair for them. The volunteers finally did get outh there and start pointing people to where creators were set up. I would like to see JTA more involved with the trolley. Why couldn't a trolley loop have been set up that went around the perimeter of the event? I would also suggest more structured zones. I would like to have seen all the artisist say in one scetion of downtown and all the technology in one section, etc.

jaxlore

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Re: Remembering One Spark: Sights & Scenes
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2013, 09:35:58 AM »
Overall the event was pretty awesome. Seeing to many people downtown for the first time really enjoying themselves was great. The energy of all the arts and ideas was great.  Being fairly downtown savy myself I actually, had never been to the Southpoint Gallery which was an eye opener.

I actually liked the out of the way spaces and buildings but I felt better signage is need to let people know where these spots are. Not everyone realized there was a map or a mobile app. Also there was a disconnect from Laura Street to the Landing. because you had the food strip but then a bunch of cop cars parked closing off the rest of Laura and that cut of the flow of people to the landing and beyond.

But even with a few minor first years issues the event was truly a success. I cant wait for the next one.

fsujax

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Re: Remembering One Spark: Sights & Scenes
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2013, 09:48:10 AM »
This event proves people will come downtown and parking is not an issue. I was at amazed at all the families I saw. Seeing all the little ones on the Skyway smiling and having fun was great. I also noticed lots of older people, especially Friday. Overall, great time and cant wait for next year. More food trucks next year!

Koula

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Re: Friendly Suggestions for Next Year's One Spark
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2013, 10:13:24 AM »
I usually ride my bike when I visit downtown, but a couple of times I drove to the convention center and hopped on the (very crowded!) Skyway. It was quite convenient! I loved seeing all the people on bikes that weren't people I already know from the cycling community.

I talked to a couple of downtown business owners who said they got more business from One Spark than from more contained events like Jazz Fest and football games. I also talked to a few people who normally don't go downtown, and they seemed to be having fun wandering around to new, cool places! On the flip side, I knew a creator at the Hyatt, and another creator friend was inside one of one of the office buildings on the 3rd floor. One Spark did great with their signage, but once you got into some of these buildings it wasn't apparent where creators were set up. There are some areas the Skyway doesn't quite reach, and though I saw a couple of bicycle rickshaws ferrying people around, something more robust like JTA trolleys taking people to the outer edges of the creator and entertainment zone every 10-15 minutes might be something to organize for next year.

goldy21

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Re: Remembering One Spark: Sights & Scenes
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2013, 11:21:16 AM »
I think they need to change the way the prizes are awarded so that you have to hit a minimum number of votes in order to get money from the $250,000 pool.  One Spark will need to fund the top vote-getters to at least a five figure amount in order to incentivize creators from around the country and world to travel to the festival.  Plus, we live in a jackpot society.  Big prizes make headlines.

L.P. Hovercraft

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Re: Friendly Suggestions for Next Year's One Spark
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2013, 11:54:57 AM »
Two things for me:

Would like to see One Spark run a bit longer next year until Sunday evening or later--who wants to finish up the weekend fun so early?  Went downtown on Sunday around 1 pm or so to check things out and grab a bite to eat for lunch, but other than Chamblin's Uptown, everything was pretty much packed up and dead by that time, albeit it was also kind of drizzly out, but still.

I was too lazy to ride my bike and didn't really want to deal with the hassle of 1) looking up the ever changing pseudo-trolley schedule, 2) locating the nearest bus stop and 3) waiting in the sun and/or rain for an hour but I would have loved to have actually been able to hop on a trolley someplace in Riverside to go downtown and back so I ended up driving both days I attended.  So, maybe it was really great this year and I just missed out, but next year, I'd like to see more and better trolley service to/from Riverside advertised--short wait times, easy to spot convenient stops, and run it until late at night!

That said, like others have stated, I did really like the convenience of parking at the convention center lot and taking a nearly full Skyway to Hemming Plaza both days I went and loved the event overall and the vibe of downtown when it's full of people and doesn't look so abandoned and neglected.
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RiversideLoki

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Re: Friendly Suggestions for Next Year's One Spark
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2013, 12:17:27 PM »
Hey Beonespark.com webmasters, why don't you update the site with the results instead of dropping the site like a hot potato?
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TheCat

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Re: Friendly Suggestions for Next Year's One Spark
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2013, 12:30:22 PM »
I think they need to change the way the prizes are awarded so that you have to hit a minimum number of votes in order to get money from the $250,000 pool.  One Spark will need to fund the top vote-getters to at least a five figure amount in order to incentivize creators from around the country and world to travel to the festival.  Plus, we live in a jackpot society.  Big prizes make headlines.

Absolutely. I was hoping a few people would receive significant prize dollars, at least $20k to $30k. There have to be minimums. There is no way to get world wide, national or even local drive with a top prize of $2k-$6k. Unless you just view it as a "convention" of sorts and the real prize is the networking (which is an incredible and vital aspect of the event). Next year might be tough for this reason. Creators involved this year will have to wonder if their time, money and energy was worth it even if they gained the top prize. I think many will say no.

I also wish they were a little more clear as to who (if anyone) received large individual contributions and/or investments. Those are the stories that will drive participation and intrigue.  The OneSpark story is "that was really cool and well executed." The actual goal of the event to provide funding to creators is kind of secondary. Every dollar counts, yes, but also every dollar counts!

I'm also wondering (as a friend opined) if the key to winning One Spark will always be if the "idea" is charitable/non-profitish/community-ish?. All good things but will it invariably exclude "for-profit" innovators. Will the inventors choose to not take part because they don't have a "soul" story to go along with their idea so it becomes a waste of their time? I'm wondering if there is a need to let people compete within a category to keep the competition a little more level. We are a community that cares so it's going to be tough to vote for the inventor vs. the non-profit. I like the idea that everyone is competing with each other but i don't want to see One Spark become a convention for every charitable organization in the city.

Which brings me to why some of the category winners don't seem to relate to the category. Like why is "123 Fresh" a winner in Science? Or, why is rethreaded in Art? Or, Why is the Kona School in technology? Those links should be made clear. I shouldn't have to guess. Which probably means One Spark wasn't very clear how each category was defined when the creators were submitting their applications.


dougskiles

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Re: Remembering One Spark: Sights & Scenes
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2013, 12:32:20 PM »
Overall the event was pretty awesome. Seeing to many people downtown for the first time really enjoying themselves was great. The energy of all the arts and ideas was great.  Being fairly downtown savy myself I actually, had never been to the Southpoint Gallery which was an eye opener.

I actually liked the out of the way spaces and buildings but I felt better signage is need to let people know where these spots are. Not everyone realized there was a map or a mobile app. Also there was a disconnect from Laura Street to the Landing. because you had the food strip but then a bunch of cop cars parked closing off the rest of Laura and that cut of the flow of people to the landing and beyond.

But even with a few minor first years issues the event was truly a success. I cant wait for the next one.

I felt the same way.  I enjoyed exploring the farther reaches and hidden gems.  It was like a scavenger hunt for the visitors.